You Got the Visa !

This Topic only applies to applicants finalizing through Consular Processing.

After Visa Approval

After a successful Visa Interview each applicant must leave his/her passport at the Embassy or Consulate to have the Immigrant Visa (IV) placed in it. The passport will be returned together with the Visa Packet.

The Issuance Date of the Immigrant Visa is usually the date of the Medical Examination. Sometimes the Issuance Date is the date of the Visa Interview. The Immigrant Visa is valid for 6 months after it is issued. You must travel to the U.S. within these 6 months to ‘activate’ your Green Card.
If you do not arrive in the U.S. within this period the visa becomes INVALID and you will NOT be issued a Green Card.

Visa Packet

Together with your passport you will receive your Visa Packet. This packet is a sealed envelope that contains your complete file. In case family members immigrate with you each receives his/her own Visa Packet but the packets are usually mailed together.

Green Card Activation

You activate your Green Card by traveling to the U.S. and handing your Visa Packet to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer. You must present the packet at the first place where you arrive. This place is called your Port of Entry (POE). For most immigrants POE is the first U.S. airport where they land.
The CBP Officer puts a temporary Green Card Stamp I-551 in your passport.

You will receive your Form I-551 Permanent Resident Card or Green Card in the mail after 4-8 weeks. To have the Green Card mailed you need to establish an address in the U.S. and submit this address to USCIS.